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FG relaxes restriction on places of worship

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The Federal Government has announced the relaxation of the restriction placed on places of worship as part of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this during the daily briefing of the panel on Monday.

Mustapha who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation, however, said the ban on inter-state travels is still in place.

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He said:

“There is a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace;

“Relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.

“Managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission;

“Ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services;

“Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places;

“Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places.”

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NCAA releases West Link aircraft

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has released one of the two aircraft belonging to West Link Airlines, which was grounded under Specs Part G of the Air Operator’s Certificate due to violations of the  Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR).

The aircraft was among those the regulator erroneously added to its list of grounded airplanes.

According to sources, the aircraft – a Challenger CL604-n604 WL – was released to service for not falling under the category of Part G category as it is said to be owned by the airline and not leased.

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The other aircraft, the CL601-N253LA, a source hinted, however, falls under the category and will still have to undergo an audit and compliance with all the relevant Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

A  Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Aeronautical Telecommunication Service dated July 7, 2020, to stations with text AA0016/07071244 releasing the aircraft to operate read:

“The DG-NCAA has directed  that N604WL CL604 (West Link Airlines) that was earlier grounded via permit no AA004/03072005 be released with immediate effect to resume normal operations. Please act accordingly. Regards.”

doing all we can and working round the clock to ensure we meet it as soon as possible.’’

The NCAA had suspended operations of some airlines aircraft based on NCARS Part 9.2.3.4(b) referring to Wet Leasing aircraft, which states:  No holder of an AOC issued under this Part 9 may allow another entity or air operator to conduct wet-lease operations on its behalf (a wet-lease in) unless the air operator holds an  AOC  or its equivalent from a Contracting State that authorises those operations.

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The NCAA noted:

“The  AOC  holder advises the  Authority of such operations and provides a copy of the AOC under which the operation was conducted. Such operation does not exceed a period of 12 months and the Authority approves the operations.”

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Police set to begin massive arrest of face mask violators in Lagos

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Lagos State residents have been warned by the state police command to properly use their face masks or face arrest.

According to the police command, it was noticed that most residents have either jettisoned the directive or now place the masks beneath their chins as decoration.

The state Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Hakeem Odumosu on Tuesday urged Lagosians to own the battle against further spread of COVID-19 in the state.

According to Odumosu, the police and other law enforcement agencies have the mandate of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to arrest and prosecute violators of COVID-19 prevention protocols, adding that there will be no sacred cows in safeguarding public safety.

Already, Odumosu said the command arrested 3,802 persons between April and June for not wearing face masks, adding that all the suspects were charged to court and sentenced accordingly.

He said:

“We have been enforcing the law. We have arrested 3,802 people for not using face masks and 12,900 suspects were held for flouting various COVID-19 guidelines since the commencement of the lockdown in April. They were all charged to court.

“But we are going to be stricter now because we have noticed that some people do not wear at all while others hang it on their chins. That is not the purpose for the directive.

“The face mask must be properly worn to cover the mouth and nose. That is how it will serve its purpose. Our people must know that the policy is for their safety and that of society.

“As soon as you step out of your house into public space, you should have your face mask on, worn properly. It should be that way until you return to your private space. Wearing a face mask is compulsory just as social distancing is compulsory. You cannot do one and leave the other.

“For emphasis, we will arrest those who put the face mask on their chins and also arrest those not wearing it.”

Checks across Amuwo Odofin, Isolo, Egbe Idimu and Oshodi areas of the state showed that most residents were nonchalant about the use of face mask and social distancing.

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According to the NATION, it was observed that only commercial motorists mostly had face masks on though a greater number of them hung them on their chins.

It was gathered that the drivers were compelled by their unions to have the face masks handy and also ensure their passengers have them to prevent arrest.

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People were seen having discussions in clusters and at bus stops without wearing face masks and in complete disregard for the social distancing directive.

At Oke-Afa, it was observed that over eight non-compliant people encircled a woman roasting corn with some of them taking turns to touch the staples.

Also, the black market foreign exchange operators in Okota were beckoning on potential clients without observing the protocols.

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Most traffic hawkers from Okota Round About up to Apple Junction in Amuwo Odofin did not also comply with the directive as they claimed that wearing the mask makes breathing difficult.

A fruit seller, who approached our reporter to market his ware, said:

“I am not using it because it is hard to wear. The few times I tried it, I could not breathe. I have not worn face mask for over a month now and I do not have the disease. Do I look sick?”

The situation was not different in Ajao Estate as most shop owners and their customers were seen neither putting on face masks or observing social distancing.

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Glo reduces international call tariffs by 55 per cent

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In line with its forte of giving back to its esteemed subscribers, the grandmasters of data, Globacom, has reduced international call tariffs by 55 per cent to give more power to its customers to stay in touch with their loved ones abroad at a pocket-friendly rate.

Globacom in a press statement on Tuesday said the reduced tariffs, which come without any subscription fee, cover calls made to major destinations such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Ireland, South  Africa, Spain and Saudi Arabia.

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Other countries affected by the reduction are  Cameroon, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire. The specific tariffs for each country vary, but are the most competitive in the market, the company declared.

For instance, calls to the United Kingdom which used to cost between N30 and N130 per minute now cost between N24 and N100 per minute depending on the network the call is being terminated on.  Similarly, calls to Spain and Italy have been reduced to N75 and N60 per minute from N90 and N130 respectively.

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The company said calls to South Africa will now attract N85 per minute instead of N150, while calls to Saudi Arabia will now be charged at N55 per minute, down from the former N60 per minute. For France and Ireland, the tariff has been slashed to N50 and N40 respectively from N65 and N60, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Togo and Niger N150 instead of the old N200  per minute rate.

The company enjoined subscribers to take advantage of the tariff slash to connect and talk at a cost-effective rate with their friends and relations in the countries covered by the offer especially in view of the prevailing international lockdown caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic.

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It added that its rates to other major destinations such as the United States, India and China are still the most competitive in the market.

“Subscribers can enjoy premium-quality calls to these countries for just 50 kobo per second,” the company concluded.

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